Cane Corso Italiano

Italian Corso dog

FCI Standard No. 343

Standard cane corso.jpg


Dr. J.-M. Paschoud and Mrs. Elke Peper; Revised by Ms. Bettina Smith-Horn and Mr. Axel Komorowski.

Official original language (EN).



UTILIZATION: Versatile working dog
CLASSIFICATION FCI: Group 2 Pinschers and Schnauzers, Molossoids and Swiss Mountain Dogs.
Section 2.1 Molossoids, mastiff-like dogs. With work trial.

The Corso dog is a direct descendant of the Roman Molossians. Formerly widespread throughout Italy, in recent years it has only been represented in Apulia and the neighboring southern Italian provinces. Its name is derived from the Latin "cohors", which means "guardian, defender of house and yard".

Medium to large size dog; robust and sturdy, nevertheless with some elegance. Dry and strong muscles.

The Corso dog is rectangular in outline and slightly longer than it is tall. (The body length of the dog exceeds the height by 11%). The length of the head reaches 36% of the height at the withers.

Guardians of the house and yard, the family and the cattle. In the past, it was used to guard cattle herds and also to hunt big game.

Broad and typically molossoid. The upper lines of the skull and muzzle converge slightly, with no visible folds.

Skull: broad; at the level of the zygomatic arch, the width of the skull corresponds to its length. The convex anterior part of the skull becomes flatter from the forehead to the occiput. The middle frontal furrow can be seen, starting at the stop and ending at the middle of the skull. Stop: Well defined, with highlighted frontal sinuses.

Nose: black. A gray mask may have a nose color of the same tint. Large nose with well opened nostrils. The nose is on the same line as the bridge of the nose.

Strong, square, significantly shorter than the skull (ratio of muzzle: skull approximately 1: 2). The front part of the muzzle is flat; the side surfaces are parallel. The muzzle is as wide as it is long; Seen from the side it is deep; the profile of the bridge of the nose is straight.

Viewed from the front, the upper lip forms an inverted “U” at its junction; viewed from the side, it overhangs moderately. It covers the lower jaw and forms the lower boundary line of the muzzle.

Jaw / teeth:
The jaws are very large, thick, and arched. Slight undershot, but not more than 5 mm. Pincer bite permitted, but not desired.

To bake:
The masseter region is clearly visible, but not bulging.

Medium in size, slightly protruding, but never excessive. Almost egg-shaped, the interpupillary spaced well apart in an almost subfrontal position. The eyelids lie well against the eyeball. The color of the iris should be as dark as possible, but it depends on the color of the coat. The expression is lively and attentive.

Triangular, pendulous, medium-sized. With a broad attachment high above the zygomatic arch. The ears are not docked. NECK: Strong, muscled, the same length as the head.

The body is slightly longer than the height at the withers. Strongly built, but not square. Withers: Pronounced, higher than the croup. Back: Straight, well muscled and firm.

Short and strong Croup: Long and broad, gently sloping. Chest: Well developed, reaching to the elbow.

Naturally. Set on fairly high; very broad at the root. In action the tail is carried high, but never erect or curled.

Shoulder: Long, sloping, well muscled. Upper arm: Strong. Forearm: Straight, very strong. Pastern joint: elastic. Pastern: elastic and only slightly inclined. Front paws: cat paws.

Upper thigh: Long, wide, the posterior line of the thigh convex. Lower legs: Strong, not fleshy. Knee Joint: Firm, moderately angled. Hock joint: Moderately angled. Metatarsus: Thick and dry. Hind feet: Slightly less compact than the front feet.

Long stride; sweeping trot; the trot is the preferred type of movement.

Quite thick, rather tight fitting.

COAT Hair:
Short, shiny, very dense with a thin undercoat of a glass structure. Color: black, lead gray, slate gray, light gray, light fawn; dark fawn and deer red; dark wheat color (stripes on differently nuanced fawn or gray base color). Fawn and brindle dogs have a black or gray mask that is limited to the muzzle and should not go further than the eye line. A small white spot on the chest, on the tip of the toes, and on the bridge of the nose is allowed.

Height at withers: Males: 64 cm - 68 cm. Bitches: 60 cm - 64 cm. With a tolerance of +/- 2 cm. Weight: Males: 45 kg - 50 kg. Bitches: 40 kg - 45 kg. Weight suitable for the size of the dog.

Any deviation from the aforementioned points must be viewed as a fault, the evaluation of which should be in exact proportion to the degree of the deviation and its impact on the dog's health and well-being and its ability to perform its traditional tasks.

Parallelism or pronounced convergence of the upper lines of the skull and muzzle; Side faces of the muzzle converging.

• Partially unpigmented nose.
• scissor bite; Undershot more than 5 mm.
• Tail carried erect or curled up.
• When trotting, always in the pass.
• Upper or under size.
• Presence of dewclaws.

• Aggressive or overly shy dogs
• Dogs clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities.
• Divergence of the upper lines of the skull and muzzle.
• Completely unpigmented nose.
• Nose bridge concave or convex (Roman nose)
• Undershot.
• Partial or complete loss of pigmentation in the eyelids; Glass eye (spotted blue); Strabismus (squinting).
• rodlessness; Stubby tail.
• Half-length, straight or feathered coat.
• All colors not described in the standard; extensive white spots NB
• Males must have two apparently normal testicles that are completely submerged in the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy, breed typical dogs should be used for breeding.